blan·​dish·​ment ˈblan-dish-mənt How to pronounce blandishment (audio)
: something that tends to coax or cajole : allurement
often used in plural
… refuses to yield to their blandishmentsIrving Babbitt

Did you know?

When Star Wars audiences first meet former smuggler Lando Calrissian—played iconically by Billy Dee Williams—in The Empire Strikes Back, he is full of blandishments, offering flattery (telling Leia “You truly belong here with us among the clouds”) and gifts to our heroes in the form of food and drink (“Will you join me for a little refreshment?”) in order to entice them into what we soon discover is a trap. Notably, before the whole sordid deal goes down (and before Lando’s eventual redemption), Han Solo calls him “an old smoothie.” Lando’s verbal smoothness can be linked to blandishment too: the word was formed from the verb blandish, meaning “to coax with flattery.” Blandish ultimately comes from the Latin adjective blandus, meaning “mild” or “flattering,” source too of our adjective bland, which typically describes things boring and flavorless but which can also mean “smooth and soothing in manner or quality”—a meaning that also applies to everyone’s favorite Cloud City administrator.

Examples of blandishment in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Impressed by the senator’s blandishments, the egoistic journalist argues military strategy and then faces a moment of conscience. Armond White, National Review, 17 May 2023 People want to hear blandishments about engagement and infrastructure. Rory Smith, New York Times, 14 Apr. 2023 Few can resist the Beltway’s beckoning, the blather of political pundits or the blandishment of campaign operatives urging them to run. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 2 Apr. 2023 The fateful lane change arose out of one mayor’s resistance to such blandishments. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, 7 May 2020 At the same time, the softer architectural blandishments of postmodernism, promising the comforts of architectural history and tradition, were challenging modernists. Joseph Giovannini, New York Times, 4 Apr. 2020 Her 2014 autobiography, A Fighting Chance, and recent stump speeches are festooned in pep club spirit and folksy blandishments, cloying bits of business that have attached themselves to her life story. Caroline Fraser, The New York Review of Books, 13 Feb. 2020 The region’s main powers, Australia and New Zealand, fear the creation of a mendicant state on their doorsteps, susceptible, in particular, to Chinese bribes and blandishments. The Economist, 18 Dec. 2019 Having failed to win the Japanese around with blandishments, an increasingly desperate-looking Senard has reached for the stick. Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'blandishment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


blandish + -ment, probably after Anglo-French blandisement, blaundissement and continental Old & Middle French blandissement

First Known Use

circa 1553, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of blandishment was circa 1553


Dictionary Entries Near blandishment

Cite this Entry

“Blandishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Definition revised
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!